Experts are calling on schools across the Middle East to put a greater emphasis on wellness among teachers and students as health challenges continue to rise.

According to John Gloster, Chief Quality Officer, KOOH Sports, the school system provides the best vehicle to adopt healthy practices as well as to educate our children that the topic of health has to be firmly embedded into the existing education curriculum. “We have a burgeoning health issue on our hands with children with respect to diabetes, obesity and rapidly declining physical activity status. Not only is this already manifesting itself as burden on our already stressed health systems, this will only worsen as this generation of kids become adults. Alarming trends are already visible.”

Gloster is one of a number of experts who will be speaking on health and wellness in schools at the forthcoming Global Education Supplies and Solutions (GESS) Dubai, the leading education show in the Middle East.

“We are aware of how schools are increasingly putting an emphasis on health and wellness as part of their holistic approach to education. Students learn and perform better in schools when they are healthy, and so we made this an important part of our programme for this year’s edition of GESS that we hope will help push for a healthier student population in the UAE and the rest of the Gulf region,” said Matt Thompson, Project Director, F&E Education, organisers of GESS Dubai 2017, happening on March 14-16 and returning to the main exhibition halls (5 to 8) of the Dubai World Trade Centre.

In addition to Gloster, another staunch advocate of health and wellness in schools, Alex Sfeir, CEO, Food4Life, will be speaking on how to encourage schools to give proper information and share practical skills for teachers and students to help them appreciate the impact of healthy food on their productivity and efficiency in school.

“Healthy eating is half of the equation, movement and physical activity is the other half and go hand in hand. The benefits of movement are well documented and recent studies have shown that the majority of children fall off the physical activity radar after the age of 12 and this has to be addressed by improving motor competence and activity in their younger years through in-school physical education curriculums professionally delivered and engaging for the child,” added Gloster, who will be speaking on the benefits of playing sports and promoting physical activity in schools in GESS Dubai.

Where nutrition is concerned, some schools have been proactively promoting healthy eating habits among teachers and students. Clive Pierrepont, Director of Communications, Taaleem believes that offering a holistic curriculum that considers students’ wellbeing and development alongside traditional learning is vitally important. “The message that ‘You are what you eat’ is a critical one for both parents and children. The food that we offer in our schools has been planned by both nutritionists and chefs to give a healthy and balanced diet. All ingredients are organic, where possible and free from preservatives.

Taaleem has even teamed up with Michelin-starred British chef Gary Rhodes, to develop a unique school dining experience that combines healthy, delicious food with social skills and mealtime etiquette.

This year, GESS Dubai has put together a comprehensive suite of panel discussions, workshops and presentations covering a wide spectrum of challenges and issues confronting the education sector in the Middle East, broadly categorised under the themes Education in Action, Neuroscience in Education, Learning Essentials and Future Learning, as well as The Innovation Stage and Keynote & Plenary talks which gather leading educational experts from around the world who will be sharing their insights with thousands of teachers, school administrators and other key stakeholders from across the region who are expected to attend the show.

Now in its 10th year, GESS Dubai visitors will also have the chance to explore a comprehensive showcase of the very latest products and solutions from the world’s leading education suppliers and service providers that highlight the show’s leading position as the premier B2B platform for the education market in this part of the world.

GESS Dubai 2017 is free to attend, with education professionals having the added advantage of getting accreditation attending certified sessions and workshops. More information on the exhibition and conference may be obtained at www.gessdubai.com, that is now accepting early registration.

– GESS Dubai Media